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We review all kinds of goodies, from gym equipment to clothing, books to movies, food to shoes - and much more.
The second episode of our Girl Talk for ChronicBabes video series is up at YouTube. This episode answers a viewer's question: how do I make time for me? And you know what? She totally did it after watching the video, and sent me email proof to boot! Suhweet! Check out the video and let me know what you think. -Editrix Jenni
Regular readers of the site already saw my new year's resolutions post, in which I proclaim that "self-care is #1."
The problem in winter is that I usually let that slide. (Hence this year's resolution!) But not this time. I have a few things I'm doing to get myself in shape for bikini season in a few months!
Read on to learn my personal weight loss goal for 2012 (gulp!) and what I'm doing to achieve it. And then comment so I can learn what YOU'RE doing!
Did you wait 'til the last minute to finish your holiday shopping? Join the club—with a full workload, my illnesses to manage, speaking gigs and a full social calendar, I'm behind on everything this holiday season, from gift shopping to...ahem...posting my picks for gifts.
It's OK. Folks understand if gifts are late. At least, I know I do—it's the thought that counts after all, right? And it's not as though December is the only month to give gifts! With that in mind: Here are my gift picks for the holidays.
I’m sure we’ve all had well-meaning friends, family members, and even doctors encourage us to reduce the stress in our lives in order to improve our chronic illnesses. (And I know I’m certainly not feeling any less stressed when I read a story about research like this that suggests my stress is more likely to make me sick since I’m a woman. Ugh!) Take a deep breath. No seriously. Take a deep breath. Let it out. And then another. Meditation can make a big difference, says guest blogger Megan.
Recently, the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA) released their inaugural issue of their magazine, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain LIFE. Guest blogger Felicia Fibro offers her perspective.
Healthcare customers have to take charge of their data. Medicine runs on data. Managing your health depends on data. Take control of yours, own it, use it. Your life really does depend on… you. A guest post from Casey Quinlan PACKED with great practical advice.
Posted: 10/11/2011 in Cool Tools
While doing research this week, I came across an article that deeply saddened me. It was about a 19-year old college student who appears to have died from using her asthma inhaler and epinephrine injector pen too many times on the day of her death. You can read the article here.
It’s a terrible shame for someone to die by use of the medications which help them to live a good life. Although the student’s death is still under investigation I couldn’t stop thinking about how easy it could be, as someone who takes powerful medication for chronic illness, to take too much by accident. Here are five tips to help you stay safe:
Posted: 9/30/2011 in Cool Tools
In case you missed it this past weekend, we tweeted tons of LGBTQ health-related resources in honor of Gay Pride Weekend. We believe that ALL ChronicBabes deserve to get the best health care and support available. So if you missed it, or don't have a twitter account, or—like me—spent the better part of the weekend imbibing and giggling and cavorting with friends, here's the place to catch up!
On the 17th day of the WEGO Health (they're @wegohealth on Twitter) Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (HAWMC)*, in which they offer a blog prompt per day for a month, organizers have asked us to do something mindful and describe something peaceful with as much imagery as possible. Awesome! I love mindfulness practice, it's something I've studied for a while now and is really helpful in my pain and anxiety management.
Posted: 4/17/2011 in Cool Tools
Hey laaaaadeeeeez! It's time again for Grand Rounds, ChronicBabe style, which means we're curating a collection of posts that are completely babelicious. Check out this gathering of doctors, nurses, patients and just regular folk who like to write about medicine.
Once again, it's time for the ChronicBabe Gift Guide. The 2009 edition includes products and services we've tried out, and others we've heard are awesome. We run the gamut from home to work, travel to hermitting, food to drink...you name it, we cover it. If you think we left something super awesome off the list, just let me know and we'll add it!
Medical ID jewelry has never appealed to me. And luckily, I've never had an illness that really warranted me wearing any. But an asthma scare a few months ago got me thinking... So when Stephanie Cion, creator of WellAlarm, offered to send me a free piece to try out, I went for it.
Posted: 11/19/2009 in Cool Tools
Hosting Patients For A Moment (PFAM) is a great honor. (Thanks, Duncan!) Sure, I love a good edition of Grand Rounds, but sometimes there are so many health care provider-created posts I'm a bit overwhelmed. And after all, the idea of patient-generated content is why this whole ChronicBabe thing got started. So without further ado, let's see what the ChronicBabes and ChronicDudes are talking about this week:
Editrix Jenni Prokopy has been partnering with HealthyWomen (formerly the National Women's Health Resource Center) to create some awesome fibromyalgia awareness pieces and advice for living well with this chronic pain condition. There are even some supercool videos with Jenni talking about healthy living, workplace and travel tips!
I've been having trouble sleeping lately, lots on my mind and lots going on are combining to mess with my sleep schedule. So just like the breathe playlist I created a couple months, this playlist is designed with a specific purpose: to get me thinking about sleep. I think you'll love it too!
...but it's not really over. There are still a ton of great resources available! Starting with Editrix Jenni Prokopy's presentation on healthy boundaries for sick chicks.
Are you well-read? Well-informed? Do you keep up on research? Read the latest journals? If so, you probably know more than Editrix Jenni does about her conditions. In honor of National Fibromyalgia Awarness Day on May 12, Jenni talks about how to stay informed about your conditions, offering some helpful tips and strategies.
Posted: 5/7/2009 in Cool Tools
I'm packing right now for a trip next week to Austin, Texas, an awesome city that will be packed with folks for the annual SXSW festival. And as I prep for the trip, so many questions and concerns are swirling in my brain! I'm sure you face some of the same things when you prepare for travel.
In no particular order, here are the concerns I'm facing, ideas I'm considering, and advice I'm putting into use. I'll look at accommodations, fashion, dining out (or not), managing your energy, setting realistic goals and much more. Take what you need and share with anyone who could use the tips.
Call us biased, but we think chicks rule. There's a ton of health information on the 'net, but often, medical research and reporting focus more on men—so we thought it was high time the ladies got a little attention in Grand Rounds, a showcase for the best health and medical writing on the web. This week: 35 different bloggers address pregnancy, advocacy, self-esteem and body image, mental health, diet, love and romance, experimental treatments, lost tampons, primary care, lawsuits, headaches and so much more.
It's been a super-busy couple weeks here at ChronicBabe HQ, where I'm unpacking, decorating, organizing...and otherwise feeling overwhelmed. As a Babe with fibromyalgia, I have to manage my energy, so unfortunately I haven't had a lot of time to write articles...but I HAVE had time to check out a few products that I want to share with you: Toombas Jeans, Respire Inhaler Cases, and EndoFemm Heating/Cooling Pads.
Posted: 3/28/2008 in Cool Tools
It's a time for new beginnings here at ChronicBabe HQ, I and my husband are unpacking in our newly reconstructed condo (it was hit by a freak storm in August 2007). I'm feeling like our new/old home offers us something of a fresh start, both personally and professionally. So why not celebrate new beginnings this week in Grand Rounds? Here's a big batch of excellent posts that do just that.
Posted: 3/4/2008 in Cool Tools
I've just been to BodyWorlds2 and, frankly, I'm thinking about the phrase "wrap my head around it" in a whole new way. I learned that if one were to unfold the tissue of the cerebral cortex (that's the big, squiggly part of the brain that we easily see) and spread it out, it would measure 16 square feet. My migraines make a bit more sense.
Posted: 7/5/2007 in Cool Tools
Occasionally we have the chance to review a book that many ChronicBabes might like, and sometimes we let another Babe do the review for us. In this case, Michelle, who has Type 2 diabetes, seemed a perfect fit to review "Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes: 5 Essential Health Factors You Can Master to Enjoy a Long and Healthy Life" by Richard Jackson, MD, and Amy Tenderich. Says Michelle, "Let's cut to the chase: I love this book. Love it. Really."
Posted: 3/11/2007 in Cool Tools
We've followed Amy Tenderich's project, DiabetesMine, for the past couple years, watching it grow and gain a strong reputation in the diabetes community. So we weren't surprised to hear she had come out with a valuable new book on diabetes, co-written with Richard Jackson, MD, called "Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes." Today, we talk with Amy (a Type 1 diabetic) and Dr. Jackson about their work together on the book. On Monday, March 12, we offer up a review by Michelle Haus, a DiabetesBabe.
Posted: 3/8/2007 in Cool Tools
Valentine's Day is just around the corner - a celebration of all things lovely. We at ChronicBabe are simply in love with the Grand Rounds blog carnival, so what better day to host? I'm from the South, where Sugar is a pet name for anyone you love. My grandpa used to sit me on his knee and say "give me some sugar" and tickle me into a massive giggling fit. Asking someone to "give me some sugar" is also a creative way of asking for a kiss or some other treat. So this Valentine's Day Eve, I've asked my fellow health and medical writers to give up the sugar - to share their treats.
Posted: 2/13/2007 in Cool Tools
We've made our list, and checked it twice. Well, OK...more like three or four times, because we're a little neurotic. But it was worth it! We've gathered tons of great gift ideas for all the ChronicBabes in your life: the drama mamas, the green thumbs, the book worms, the granola girls. Dive in - there's something for everyone!
Posted: 12/9/2006 in Cool Tools
One of the best things about being one of The Real Hot 100 is the connections we've made with incredible women. Over the next few weeks, we'll be introducing you to some of their projects. Today: Femina, a powerful search engine of sites by, for and about women.
Posted: 8/22/2006 in Cool Tools
Welcome to Grand Rounds ChronicBabe style, where it's all about the ladies. We got a ton of excellent posts, so take some time to really work your way down the list. You won't be disappointed! Thanks to everyone who participated, and to Nick for organizing Grand Rounds! We're honored to be your hostess this week.
Jennifer Jaff is a total Babe: an attorney with Crohn's disease, she created Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, Inc., a non-profit resource for Chronic folks who need legal assistance. We talk with Jennifer about her work with clients one-on-one, and her thoughts on HSAs and other health care issues in the news.
Meditation is great for all Babes, chronic or not. It helps you get more restful sleep, think more clearly, boost energy, and better handle stress. What's not to love? Well, I love meditation and breathing exercises, but truthfully, they can get a little dull. Who wants to visualize the same darn peaceful stream over and over again? Hmm? The Breathe Easy Deck, created by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, helps tackle the boredom issue by offering dozens of cards, each with beautiful artwork and thoughtful mantras to recite while practicing your relaxation techniques.
Posted: 4/3/2006 in Cool Tools
Here at ChronicBabe HQ, we get the occasional product that we want to test. But the Editrix alone can't test everything - so we assembled a panel of Babes to try out goodies. In this inaugural test, we check out t spheres, yummy-looking and -smelling massage balls endorsed by rock stars. Here's what the Editrix and other Babes had to say.
Posted: 3/26/2006 in Cool Tools
Here's the fifth edition of LadyBloggers, where we profile a ChronicBabe who's doing superior writing. There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! LadyBloggers is a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project.
There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! That's why we feature LadyBloggers -- ChronicBabes who are doing superior writing. It's a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: TheDailyHeadache.com, by Kerrie Smyres.
There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! That's why we feature LadyBloggers -- ChronicBabes who are doing superior writing. It's a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: DiabetesTeenTalk.com, created by Allison Blass.
We have found the Best. T-shirts. Ever. MedTees.com offers hilarious t-shirts for chronic folk, guaranteed to get a laugh and scare away the pink elephant in the room. And a chunk of the proceeds goes to charity!
Posted: 1/22/2006 in Cool Tools
Here's the second edition of LadyBloggers, where we profile a ChronicBabe who's doing superior writing. There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! LadyBloggers is a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: MooglesThoughts, created by Tracy Young.
Welcome to the ChronicBabe edition of the Carnival of Compassion. We're following in the footsteps of some great editions of the Carnival, so we have really hunted for some extra-cool resources for you.
Posted: 12/11/2005 in Cool Tools
There are so many great web sites out there created by, and for, ChronicBabes. But sometimes it can be hard to find them! That's why we're starting a new weekly feature: LadyBloggers. Each week, we'll profile a ChronicBabe who's doing superior writing. It's a way to connect you with some of our favorite resources, and offer a peek at why and how these women are sharing their voice in the community. And maybe we'll spark some creativity in you, too! If you want us to profile your web site, let us know and we'll consider your project. And now, without futher ado, we bring you: DiabetesMine.com, created by Amy Tenderich.
Babe Sarah tells us she's spotted a super cute Hello Kitty pillbox. Check it out!
Posted: 11/11/2005 in Cool Tools
I have to admit, I hesitated to bring this book home from the store. From the outside, Chronically Happy: Joyful Living In Spite of Chronic Illness by Lori Hartwell--cover complete with silly happy face--was just not all that appealing. But this is actually an excellent book, full of helpful advice, fresh perspectives, and anecdotal examples of ways to improve your life even if you have a chronic illness.
In our continual search for cool ways to carry our meds, we've come up with yet more foxy pill boxes.
Posted: 9/28/2005 in Cool Tools
A ChronicBabe recounts her experience finding--and learning to love--cognitive therapy as a treatment for anxiety.
Fellow Babe and sometimes contributor Pam has a few book ideas to share, on topics related to starting a family; understanding the nervous system and pain; and mindfulness and meditation.
Posted: 7/23/2005 in Cool Tools
When I'm feeling less than fantastic, I often turn to stories of inspiration to boost my spirits. No, not the Chicken Soup for Your Stinky Feet variety... the That Takes Ovaries!, by Rivka Solomon, variety.
Paula Kamen, author of "All in My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache,"is my new heroine. Her book embodies exactly the approach I strive for with ChronicBabe - finding a positive take on something outrageously negative.
Posted: 7/17/2005 in Cool Tools
We're always looking for groovy ways to store and transport all the paraphernalia that goes with being a ChronicBabe. Pills, tampons, syringes, inhalers--it's way more fun to whip it out if it looks funky. So this resource, from my sister (and fellow ChronicBabe) Lauren, is right up our alley!
Posted: 6/20/2005 in Cool Tools
Fellow ChronicBabe Brenda says: "best icepack EVER: the ContourPak.
Posted: 6/13/2005 in Cool Tools
In my never-ending search for cute pillboxes for gals on meds, I've found some cute silver pillboxes that will look swell on even the most formal occasions.
Posted: 6/13/2005 in Cool Tools
Reaching into my coat pocket earlier today, I found not only my chapstick, but also a couple of old Tylenol wrapped in Kleenex. How old are they? Who knows. But I'm not taking them. What a waste!
Posted: 6/7/2005 in Cool Tools
Tired of carrying pills around in nasty old beat-up bottles? Check out these super cute pillboxes from The Sarut Group.
Posted: 6/6/2005 in Cool Tools
We now own the movie Garden State, which I totally love, and while watching it last night I found my new fave ChronicBabe movie quote.
Two authors - a mother and daughter team - bring you Vaginas: An Owner's Manual.
Posted: 6/1/2005 in Cool Tools
Articles that use Cool Tools as a secondary category:
In case you missed our email announcement earlier this week, check this out: Editrix Jenni has a new resource for ChronicBabes that fills a major knowledge gap.
Jenni interviewed Jean Poole, a medical billing advocate with a background in nursing and an MBA. Jean explains a tons of ins and outs of medical bills, shining a light on things everyone should know when it comes to reading bills—and not getting overcharged.
I've been craving more one-on-one time with ChronicBabes, and decided a video series would be a good start. Check out the first episode and add your comments and questions below it at YouTube - and I'll answer your questions in upcoming episodes! (You can also catch the video on Vimeo, if you prefer.)
What's hot? Besides you? Besides me? Lots; a bunch of you chimed in with your ideas, and I ran around the Internet, finding more examples of ChronicBabes writing about the ideas, trends, research and treatment ideas they find to be toasty hot. Let's jump in feet first, shall we?
It's day 13 of the WEGO Health (they're @wegohealth on Twitter) Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (HAWMC)*, in which they offer a blog prompt per day for a month, and this is a fun one: "Open a book to any page, and take the first line you see. That's the title of your blog post. What does your blog say?" Nice!
I grabbed Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield, and the first line I spotted on page 111 is "You're going to get a little competitive on this one."
The resulting blog is all about contests and craftiness and fun. Wouldn't you want to read that?
"I can do it." These are words I used to have a hard time uttering about so many things, especially in the early days after diagnosis with fibromyalgia—and I count the first few years as "early days." After being a very athletic young woman, I became a sluggish, pain-ridden, frustrated, constant patient. And I felt like there were a bazillion things I couldn't do. Now I feel like there's almost nothing I can't do. I travel, I go dancing, I've run my own consulting and freelance-writing business for nearly nine years, and I say yes to things much, much more often than I say no. (I used to say "no" almost automatically!) I can't do everything the same way I used to, but something is better than nothing.
If you've been a long-time reader of this site, you've experienced lots of stories from me and other ChronicBabes about breakthroughs, moments when we've achieved things we thought we never could because we are sick. Here's another big 'ol batch of 'em, collected together for your inspiration. I hope you spot yourself among these amazing women—and find the motivation to try something you've been afraid of trying. I believe in you!
We're rolling out DISQUS today, a simple, powerful conversation tool that will allow anyone to continue the conversation beyond the articles. You can comment, participate in threaded conversations, get email updates on those conversations, and reply through email, even from your mobile device. And you don't even have to create a DISQUS account to use it; you can log in using Twitter or Facebook, too.
From Editrix Jenni: One of our favorite blogs, How to Cope with Pain, is having a contest. Here are the details right from the founder (just to be clear, this is NOT a ChronicBabe contest - we just think it's an AWESOME contest and wanted to encourage as many readers as possible to head over and participate!):
Parenting with a chronic illness. Getting pregnant with a chronic illness. Adopting with a chronic illness. ChronicBabes all over face these challenges, and today we bring you 15 perspectives on the topic.
It's the second edition of the ChronicBabe Blog Carnival! We're bringing you a big new batch of awesomely babelicious perspectives on love, sex, relationships and chronic illness. We worked hard with co-organizer Fibrochondriac to create a real diversity of writing; in fact, she does a lot of the work, Babes, so we owe her a BIG thank you. Now, once again, we bring you... blog carnival gorgeousness! P.S. some Dudes join us this episode, too, so that's pretty sweet!
ChronicBabe.com is going to host a bi-weekly blog carnival for young women with chronic illness! Get ready to read the best the web has to offer us ChronicBabes. More details follow...
Admit it: There are times you don't feel super-sexy. Sometimes I don't either. Who can blame us, with chronic illness interrupting our days and nights with its yucky symptoms? It's impossible to feel like a sex kitten every single day, but there are a few things you can do to boost your vibe. No matter how sick you are, there is ALWAYS something you can do to feel more Babe than Chronic. Here are four ideas to get you started!
There are so many things we can't control, especially when it comes to our health. But we CAN exercise some control over our surroundings. Creating a soothing space is a terrific way to help manage all the yuck that comes with chronic illness. Here are my five favorite, trusted tricks to help create an awesome space that helps you feel AWAP (as well as possible).
Happy Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, Babes! Editrix Jenni is a FibroBabe, and we know many of you are, too. You've probably got the basics down, but just in case, here are some resources useful for beginners and experts alike. And if you have more to offer, please email us!
Amy Mercer of Dreaming of Water (a blog about women and diabetes) recently presented ChronicBabe with the Thinking Blogger Award, and challenged us to recognize five other blogs that make US think. Here's our list of five favorites. (Though, of course, we could list dozens!)
ChronicBabe.com is giving away 5 copies of Lisa J. Copen's great book Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend.
Regular readers know we luv Grand Rounds, the weekly rotating carnival of the best of the medical blogosphere. We luv it so much, in fact, that we're hosting it on July 18, and you're invited to participate!
Usually Babes ask us questions, and we do our best to answer them. Today, the Babe needs to ask a question herself! Do you -- or anyone you know -- use voice recognition software?
Once again, a reader alerts us to the existence of foxy medical identification jewelry! The Beadin-Beagle offers cute, original alternatives to the same-old same-old.
Shop the Babe! Today we opened our own CafePress shop, where you can pick from almost 30 different ChronicBabe goodies.
Heat can be great for what ails you, but sometimes you need something a little more mobile than the traditional plug-in heating pad. Here's a cheap and easy trick to make your own heating pad.